Cancro R, Blum K, Braverman ER (2019) Being Unprepared for Nuclear Terrorism Would Lead to Panic and Fear in America. Int Arch Public Health Community Med 3:018.


© 2019 Cancro R, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PERSPECTIVE TYPE | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/iaphcm-2017/1710018

Being Unprepared for Nuclear Terrorism Would Lead to Panic and Fear in America

Robert Cancro1, Kenneth Blum2, 3* and Eric R Braverman2

1Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA

2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA

3Western University Health Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA


Chernobyl demonstrated that iodine-131 (131I) released in a nuclear accident can cause malignant thyroid nodules to develop in children within a 300 mile radius of the incident. Timely potassium iodide (KI) administration can prevent the development of thyroid cancer and the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and a number of United States governmental agencies recommend KI prophylaxis. Current pre-distribution of KI by the United States government and other governments with nuclear reactors is probably ineffective. Approximately two billion people are at risk for iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), the world's leading cause of preventable brain damage. Iodide deficient individuals are at greater risk of developing thyroid cancer after 131I exposure. There are virtually no studies of KI prophylaxis in infants, children and adolescents, our target population. We encourage global health agencies (private and governmental) to consider these critical recommendations.